Congratulations Hinewehi

Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre’s very own Hinewehi Mohi, has received The University of Waikato’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award!

The Centre’s co-founder, a008_DAA_25Sep15_optlong with Olympian Rob Waddell and investment specialist Peter Churchouse, were honoured for making outstanding contributions in their careers and communities, taking into account excellence in the professional, cultural, creative and voluntary sectors.

“It was a really very special evening,” says Hinewehi - as all three recipients were gifted a commissioned cast-glass figure by award-winning artist Di Tocker at the black tie event which took place at the Hamilton Gardens’ Pavilion on September 25.

 “I was particularly thrilled to share the honour with my whanau who travelled up for Hawkes Bay, especially my Nanny who turns 90 in November.”

Hinewehi graduated from Waikato in 1985 with a BA in Maori and has had a career in television production spanning 30 years. Her own company Raukatauri Productions can also be credited for producing programming that supports the revitalisation of te reo me ona tikanga.

"I was inspired by my teachers’ Professors Timoti Karetu, Te Wharehuia Milroy and the late Dr Hirini Melbourne. I also loved to haka with Te Whare Wananga o Waikato kapa haka. This gave me a sound academic foundation on which to make my own contribution."

Hinewehi’s latest accolade follows a string of successes. From establishing the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre in 2004 and naming it after her daughter Hineraukatauri, who has Cerebral Palsy, to becoming a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to Maori and a New Zealander of the Year semi-finalist.

But it will be the touring of her album Oceania – the first Maori language album to be released internationally – that is most prominently recalled. In Twickenham UK, Hinewehi was asked to sing our national anthem before a Rugby World Cup game, and stunned the crowd by singing it in te reo. Today it has become a sporting to tradition to sing both the Maori and English versions.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says Hinewehi is a stellar example of the calibre of the University's distinguished alumni.

"We are incredibly proud of Hinewehi's achievements. She has used her talents and leadership to make a difference in the worlds she inhabits – in television, Maori, the performing arts and in music therapy for children."

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